When the disc “herniates” it means that the gel like substance has pushed the annulus fibrosus out, or it has pushed through the annulus as if you put your hand down on a jelly donut and watched the jelly leak out the side.
In general, there are three to four types (or classifications) of disc herniations,
depending on the radiologist who is reading your MRI.
A disc extrusion is one of the subcategories given to a disc herniation. If you have a disc extrusion, the protruding part of your disc herniation took a turn behind the disc. The material might drop behind the disc and migrate down (like candle wax dripping down a candle), or it might take a right or left turn and the disc material might migrate to the side. The herniated disc material can even move superiorly or upward behind this disc, defying gravity!
Disc extrusions can be caused by anything that could weaken the spine and discs, such as:
a slip and fall
an auto accident
or any other trauma.
It can also be caused by:
a sedentary lifestyle and
lack of movement
…which leads to the disc drying out and weakening. Then, you make a move that you have a hundred times before, like:
reaching into your back seat of your car to grab something
or you bend over to pick up a pencil,
and you’re suddenly gripped by excruciating pain.
An extrusion is a more severe form of disc herniation that can cause severe low back pain, sciatica, and weakness. If you have an extrusion in your neck, then you can have pain radiating into your arms and hands, or into your upper back and shoulder blades.
As with any disc herniation, the symptoms of disc extrusions can range from no pain to severe pain and radiation of pain into the extremities, or up and down your back. As an extrusion is a more severe form of disc herniation, the damage is usually greater and more symptomatic than not. It can cause severe low back pain, sciatica, and weakness. If you have an extrusion in your neck then you can have pain radiating into your arms and hands or into your upper back and shoulder blades. affect nerve roots on both sides of the spine. Because they can be broader, a disc extrusion can cause pain, or numbness and tingling or even weakness in both extremities.
One of the most effective means of treating disc extrusions is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression. Non-surgical spinal decompression allows us to reduce the compressive force on the disc, reducing the disc extrusion size and restoring normal function to the disc. This can then remove the pressure on pinched nerves caused by the disc extrusion, reducing and eliminating the pain caused by them.
In addition, we use many other therapies designed to improve strength and mobility to your spine hips and neck to reduce the likelihood of re-injury. In some cases, when we are unable to help a patient with a large extruded disc, surgery may be required. Non-invasive, non-surgical decompression should always be tried before surgery after a proper neurological examination has been performed. We feel that we can not only help you avoid surgery, but improve function as well.